Kangura No. 40

Our Tribute to the Disabled Soldiers of the Ruhengeri Camp

Issa Nyabyenda

During our Ruhengeri visit, we also visited the military camps. We received information that the Inyenzi had shelled these camps in vain. When the commanding officer of military operations in the region was informed of the attack on this town, he and his collaborators rushed to protect it. But the insufficient number of soldiers posed him problems. He must not wait, inactive, for elements from other units to come and assist him. His few collaborators and he, himself, must act pending assistance from the relief unit.

Healthy, not disabled, soldiers came out of the camps to confront the enemy. Since the camps must always be guarded, the disabled found there were helped to walk and were placed at a strategic place. They were given firearms and instructed to shoot without any problem at any Inyenzi moving around. The fearsome disabled discharged their duties well.

Those who heard Radio Rwanda broadcast that the Rwandan camps in Ruhengeri were under the control of the Rwandan Armed Forces, had thought that the soldiers were not only fearsome but they were also physically very healthy, yet they were simply disabled soldiers! When we arrived some had not completely recovered. We paid them homage, and deep down inside, we appreciated their courage. This may not please our “brothers” who make a lot of noise whereas they are good for nothing. If, within thy context of military secrecy, no negative impact can emerge, Kangura is requesting the disabled who guarded the camps to send in their names so that they are communicated to Rwandans. Each time we, Kangura journalists, think of these disabled persons, we consider them as normal human beings with whom we must share our joy. We would therefore wish that they be recognized by history as heroes of the war imposed on us by the Inyenzi.